By G9ija

A legal practitioner, Maxwell Opara, has asked the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from allowing the present Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to continue in that capacity as from March 1, 2023.

Opara wants the IGP restrained pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice on whether a person can stay in office as IGP after he is no longer a serving police officer.

According to the lawyer, by March 1, 2023, Baba’s tenure will expire and he will cease to be a serving police officer after then.

He therefore prays the court to restrain the President to rescind the decision extending Baba’s tenure, saying whatever document he signs after March 1 would be a nullity.

Opara said Buhari’s decision to allow the current IGP to continue occupying the office after the March 1, 2023 is a continuous breach of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.

On the heels of the Federal Executive Council meeting last week, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Muhammed Maigari Dingyadi, responded to questions from State House Correspondents, among which centred on the retirement date of the incumbent IGP.

The minister in a statement on Thursday noted that Baba was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on 6th April, 2021.

He added that the IGP’s appointment was confirmed by the Nigeria Police Council headed by Mr. President in June, 2021 for a single tenure of four years, as provided for in Section 7 (3), and Section 7 (6) of the Police Act 2020.

According to him, provisions include among others “that the person appointed to the office of the Inspector-General of Police shall hold office for four (4) years”.

In buttressing his notion, the minister warned that the provisions of the 2020 amended Police Acts should not be misconstrued for tenure extension as erroneously reported in some sections of the media.